Providing gift cards to our young guests has been a nice part of our service the past few years. While we provide many items on site, such as clothing, outdoor supplies, first aid supplies, etc., there are still many items our guests need which we don’t have on hand. And thus a gift card, typically to Walmart, is a very nice item to share. And thanks to many of you, we’ve been able keep a decent supply.

However, once it is known we have gift cards, the requests come flying!  And while we strive to accurately assess the need, I’m sure we’ve been taken advantage of more than a time or two. But that’s ok, as we’d rather error on the side of trust and grace.

Recently our staff has determined we need to “up the expectations” a bit when we provide a gift card or meet some other special need. Now that we have several productive activities going on in our classroom, we’re beginning to ask for some level of participation to have a request fulfilled. We’ve also begun to offer the opportunity to pitch in when we get to clean up time in the evening, and one young man has enthusiastically jumped in to help! He particularly likes to mop!

Serving our young homeless community is very multi-faceted, and the more we can encourage and incentivize our guests to learn, grow and participate, the better chance we have of changing the direction of these young lives! Thank you for being with us in this service!